The Gary and Mary West Foundation announced this week the West Health Investment Fund to provide risk capital for companies with cutting-edge, disruptive technologies and services that offer the potential to substantially lower the cost of healthcare.
The West Health Investment Fund will use the profits generated by the fund to sustain the West family mission of philanthropic work to lower health care costs. There are no management fees, there is no carried interest, and the Funds management is salaried. The Fund’s team may serve as independent Board advisors and observers for portfolio companies.
Fund management includes Don Casey, who also serves as CEO of the West Wireless Health Institute, as well as several other members of the WWHI leadership team.
“As entrepreneurs, Mary and I are acutely aware of the pressing need to do something about the cost of health care,” said Gary West in a press release. “We see a void in investment funding focused specifically on lowering the cost of health care. We are launching the West Health Investment Fund to help close that gap and to provide resources to companies who we believe are going to help drive down the cost of health care for the benefit of individuals and society in general.”
“The fund is a logical next step for us, as we work to create a vibrant ecosystem around health care innovation to lower health care costs. Since Mary and I established the West Wireless Health Institute in 2009, we have seen literally hundreds of companies focused on innovative and low cost health care solutions that cannot find funding. Without financial support for low cost health care innovation, the research we do at the institute and the work other agencies, institutions and entrepreneurs are undertaking will have a tougher path toward becoming a reality and actually lowering health care costs for the public.”
The West Health Investment Fund’s initial portfolio includes:
Biological Dynamics: Next generation diagnostics technology to enable physicians to detect cancer from a simple blood draw and rapidly intervene, increasing patient survivability while driving down the cost of care.
Change Healthcare: Web-based decision support tool Transparency Messenger provides consumers with personalized views of pricing information and alerts on where to save money on routine healthcare services including medical, dental and prescriptions.
goBalto: Next generation web-based solutions simplify pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device clinical research.
Healthsense: In-home monitoring sensors and solutions alert family members and providers of potential health problems before they become acute, enabling seniors to remain healthy and independent.
Humedica: Clinical informatics company whose cutting-edge analytics for health care organizations delivers a truly longitudinal and comprehensive view of patient care.
Sotera Wireless: Continuous vital signs monitoring improves the safety of patients on the general floor of hospitals, while at the same time reducing costs.
The Fund’s areas of interest include health care technologies, data analytics, technology-enabled services, cost transparency, and interoperability. These areas offer significant opportunities to transform health care delivery and lower health care costs encountered by individuals, health plans, providers and governmental programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration.
The Fund will also target primarily early stage opportunities with a strong preference for pre-commercial and early commercial companies. Its preferred investment candidates will value strategic partnership in addition to investment capital.